Cobleskill, NY (February 10, 2015) – Creating Healthy Places and Fit Coalition are working together to help improve activity in Schoharie County. Creating Healthy Places has purchased 16 sets of snowshoes that are being stored at Fit Coalition on Route 7 in Warnerville. The snowshoes are available for people to use free of charge but need to be signed out. “Snowshoes, unlike skis can be worn with regular snow boots and snowshoeing burns as many calories per hour as running”, says Maureen Blanchard Project Coordinator for Creating Healthy Places. “Snowshoes allow people to get out on trails when there is snow on the ground and get the benefits of exercise as well as the calming effects of being out in nature.” There are assorted sizes for children and adults. Snowshoe size is based on weight so it is easier to have assorted sizes that will meet a great number of people’s needs.
Snowshoeing is easy to adjust to as it is just like walking but due to the size of the snowshoe, most people do not sink as far into the snow as with just boots. For those that want to borrow the snowshoes Monday through Friday when Fit Coalition is open, they will need to leave either their ID or a set of keys, something to assure us that they will return the snowshoes that day. On the weekends, the policy is more complicated. Fit Coalition is only open on Saturday from 8:30-noon, so planning is a must. Interested people may borrow snowshoes on either Friday or Saturday and then return them on Monday when Fit Coalition re-opens for the week. Due to the length of time, we are asking for either a credit card or a check for $50 deposit on the snowshoes; the credit card will not be charged and the check returned when the snowshoes are returned. This is only to help cover the cost if someone does not return the snowshoes or if they are damaged. These are for the community to use and do not depend on having a membership at Fit Coalition. This is a great idea with the Cobleskill Creek Trail right across the road from Fit Coalition. It is easy to access from either the student parking area at SUNY Cobleskill behind Hess or from the trail parking area on Warnerville Cut-Off. The Cobleskill Creek trail during the winter circles a field and provides a 3 mile loop passing ponds, running along side the train tracks and with stunning views of the valley. If you want to make a day out of it, there is a pavilion with picnic tables along the trail. If you create garbage, please carry it out with you as there are not funds to clean the trail or have a garbage pick up. People do not have to walk around the field but can go out and back along the trail. Please limit crossing the field as this is a working farm during the warmer weather. We also ask that if there are cross country ski tracks in the snow that you walk to either side of the ski trails and not over them.
Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play is a grant from New York State Department of Health to increase places to be active as well as access to healthy foods. It was awarded to SUNY Cobleskill in 2010 and to 21 other counties in New York State with a local 5 year award of $875,000. This money has been spent in Schoharie County to improve or create playgrounds and fitness areas in 8 communities, in the creation of the Cobleskill Creek Trail, working with 6 communities to create and pass Complete Street Policies and projects to make communities more walkable, increase access to fresh food through the creation of Schoharie Fresh and promotion of the local farmers markets that accept SNAP and other benefits, working with local restaurants to identify healthy options and increase the number of healthy side dishes offered, as well as creating community gardens throughout Schoharie County at different locations. The goal was to reduce the ability of people making excuses for why they could not be active by providing something within their community. For more information on any of these projects, please contact Maureen Blanchard, Program Coordinator at email@example.com. To reserve snowshoes, contact Fit Coalition at 410-8352 or text message to 231-5678.